31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2009
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time excels in both fun and challenge. It certainly is much improved from the previous Mystery Dungeon games, Red and Blue. The storyline is beyond impressive, and Treasure Town has been amplified beautifully and gives the player so much to do. It also adds a really addicting and useful minigame where you identify the footprints of Pokemon. (This gives the player "Poke", the game's currency of money. So it's not only fun and gives you a break from dungeons, but it's useful and you can play it anytime.) The previous games in this series lacked that and more, making the game annoying.
There is almost no downside to this game unless you are too used to the usual Pokemon game that revolves around battling. While there is combat in Mystery Dungeon, it is brought down to a different level and is revamped entirely. The game gives you a much needed break from the stresses on constant battling in games such as Pokemon Diamond. A lot of reviews complain about the reading level and quantity. Albeit, the quantity is rough, but you should really be buying less intense games for your kids anyway. I'd recommend this game for kids ages 8 and up.
There is little difference between Time and Darkness except the availability in Pokemon throughout the game. Time has a huge advantage over Darkness because it gives the player access to the Pokemon Lucario, which is extremely popular because it was featured in a Pokemon movie and it is highly loved by the younger audience of Pokemon (especially boys.) Darkness has access to much weaker and less exciting Pokemon, such as Lopunny and Rotom, which is why Time is favored.
The storyline is very involved and really pulls the player in, while still keeping it kid friendly and thought provoking. The game is challenging, and at times can really work your brain muscles, because no two dungeons are ever the same.
The graphics done in classic sprite style are adorable and innovative, giving this game a look of its own that seperates it from other games.
All being said, this game deserves no less than 5 stars.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2009
This game, along with its counterpart game, is actually much better than the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games of the past (Blue/Red Rescue Team; which were really good in their own right). I'll grade all of the awesomeness, and what they could work on, with a grading system (A+ being the best, F- being the worst):
Storyline (A-): A VERY engaging storyline! Though it shares many of the same premises as previous games (e.g. you're a human who turned into a Pokemon), you realize how much deeper the storyline goes after you play for a while: "Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness" really live up to the "Mystery" reputation this time, as you have a lot more mysteries to solve. In the previous games, the only things you tried to find out are: A. Why did you become a Pokemon, and B. Why are nature and Pokemon going out of whack? The same mysteries stand here, but with a LOT more added: you're partner pokemon (picked by how you respond to the questionaire) has a mysterious treasure, and you try to solve the mystery of that, as well. Other mysteries, including why a Grovyle is stealing time gears, and why certain other characters behave the way they do, are also intertwined; but, those are only the MAIN mysteries! Many other smaller mysteries like: is there really a cave behind the waterfall, or does a mysterious lake really exist, also present themselves! The mysteries are endless! The only real gripe I have with the storyline is the fact that they have so much story that they fail to tie some things up. An example is with Grovyle: what happens to him after all is said and done? What happens to his friends? It fails to wrap that up properly. Another somewhat gripe is that this story is of a slightly darker and more serious nature at some points: nothing to really be worried about, but it does get intense. Also, the ending makes you cry; of course, that's not really any different from the last games.
Gameplay (B+): You have basically the same solid gameplay from the last games, but it seems harder in the dungeons. It's pretty easy to get your butt kicked in about the third dungeon you visit (which is not far off from the game's start!). However, few elements besides difficulty have been added to change up what the gameplay is from the previous games, which makes it seem like "same old, same old," at times. If not for the story, and how it affects the times in between the dungeons, this game would hardly be any different from the previous ones. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though: veterans will know what to expect. Though this RPG seems like it's live action at times, it is indeed turn-based in the dungeons (where you will spend most of your time). You wander around the floors trying to find the quickest way out of the dungeon, usually; though there are missions that other Pokemon will give you to ask to do other things (like take down a criminal). Dungeons are roughly designed like the last game: there are items scattered around, which you will try to collect, and stairs lead to the next floor and eventually out of the dungeon. Nothing wrong with all of that: it's fun, just not fresh. The VERY beginning of the game is also old-hat, as your starter and partner is chosen by how you answer questions to a quiz. Now, where gameplay REALLY shines in difference is with the new addition of Wigglytuff's guild, which is also where the story shines. You basically train in the guild, like a student would train at a school; a Loudred is your alarm clock every morning, for the most of the game, your characters eat dinner before the night is through, and there is a lot of fun interaction. There is also a "sentry duty" mini game, that requires your stylus; other than that mini game, however, control with the stylus is optional (which is a good thing). You can also read a couple of diaries from other guild members, getting their thoughts on the situation, and interact a lot with the townsfolk; the most fun comes out of learning how everything works. You can see where creativity went into it, as they left no questions unanswered this time. You can also hatch Pokemon eggs in the game this time, though the process is kind of boring until you get the new Pokemon. Overall, the gameplay is great; it's just not very new in the dungeons, which isn't too bad, but kind of repetitious.
Music (A): The music in the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series are often a lot better than traditional Pokemon Game music. This game is no exception, as there are some FABULOUS musical scores here! Each melody fits the mood of the dungeon, and is immersive, practically inviting the player to exploring the world to the fullest! There are a couple of tunes that are repetitious (Treasure Town's song comes to mind), but most of the music is pretty solid as far as games go. Veterans will even recognize one song as a creative remix and combination of many songs from the last game (which sounds pretty good)!
Graphics (B): When I played this game, I often felt that most of the graphics screamed, "Been there, done that!" It's kind of hard to top variety in area graphics, considering that the first set of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games were all over the place (volcanic areas, snowy mountains, etcetera); but most of the graphics screamed, "rehash" from the last games. There's nothing wrong with the graphics, as they are pretty enough (though boring in longer dungeons, at it usually only differs from dungeon to dungeon), but veteran Pokemon Mystery Dungeon gamers might find most of them uninspired. Even the town looks pretty much the same, save for the addition of a few new shops and stuff (some of which, I never even use). This game's saving grace in graphics are that a few fresh ideas were thrown in (the Crystal Cave level, Nightmare levels, and Grim Future levels), which does add a hint of unpredictability; very fun! However, original level designs were far and few between this time. A shame, really.
Characters (A+): Character design was great! A lot more characters were mixed in here, and with greater importance: just about every character had an interesting role! Wigglytuff makes for a humorous guild master, yet he's smarter than he appears; Chatot, Wigglytuff's assistant, usually stands as your real boss, as he's pretty bossy, but he's also funny at times; Sunflora plays one of those "omigosh" girls, who use valley expressions and stuff; Bidoof is like an easily-excited sympathizer, as he was the newest member before you came along; and there many others! Sometimes, other characters will even tag along with your own in the dungeons: a refreshing experience! All of the characters will capture your interest, and make the gameplay FAR more interesting this time around.
Replayability (D): As far as replay values go, this game doesn't have much to offer; one of its biggest mistakes is having you move out of the guild after you "graduate," which immediately saps away most of the charm of the game. Once you truly complete the story, the most you can do is go after legendary Pokemon; a good challenge, I suppose, but just not as exciting. You can also continue to accept missions from the boards, but what's the point once you reach the highest rank? I think the programmers suspected that replay values wouldn't be too good, which is why they made the length of the game so long. Sadly, the best replay value you will find is restarting the game from scratch; and that's not even as fun, since the story becomes predictable at that point.
Overall (A-): Though this Pokemon game isn't a hundred percent ground-breaking, it's still great as games come. You'll be entertained for hours, solving mysteries and finding treasure; 'cause, let's face it, when is hunting for treasure NOT fun? Very creative, with inspired characters! I recommend this game to Pokemon fans and non-Pokemon fans alike, as this is a fun way to spend a boring afternoon.